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Simone Tosoni and Trevor Pinch

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035279

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035279.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge

The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge

(p.1) 1 The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge

Simone Tosoni

Trevor Pinch

The MIT Press

The chapter presents the early years and the subsequent developments of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK), starting from the School of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Strong Programme advanced by David Bloor, introducing its four tenets: symmetry, impartiality, causality, and reflexivity. After presenting the main works done in Laboratory Studies, it extensively presents the Bath School and its focus on scientific controversies and tacit knowledge. In particular, it discusses in depth Harry Collins’ concept of “experimenter’s regress” and Trevor Pinch’s “externality of observation”, presenting the empirical work these concepts are based on. The chapter then clarifies the specific form of relativism (methodological relativism) adopted by the Bath School, pointing out its differences from epistemological relativism, and finally discusses the issue of reflexivity as addressed with SSK.

Keywords:   Edinburgh Strong Programme, Laboratory Studies, Bath School, scientific controversies, tacit knowledge, experimenter’s regress, externality of observation, methodological relativism, reflexivity

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